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How to Submit a Winning Proposal on Upwork

Uriel is a freelancer who has worked with clients on the Upwork platform for the last three years.

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Learn How to Submit a Winning Proposal on Upwork

Upwork is among one of the largest freelancing platforms in the world. The platform enables freelancers to find work and enables clients to hire talented freelancers.

I joined Upwork three years ago. I have learnt so much while freelancing on Upwork. In this article, I will show you how to submit a winning proposal on Upwork.

A prospective client will normally look at the proposal you have submitted. Your proposal allows you to introduce yourself, illustrate your skills and persuade the employer that you are the best candidate for the job.

First, you have to search for work that matches your skills. Second, you have to take time and read the work description thoroughly.

Numerous freelancers end up applying for work that they are unqualified for. Others fail to take time to read the job description and end up applying for jobs that require a long time to complete or specific software that is not available to them.

Why Upwork Proposals Are Important

Upwork lists hundreds of thousands of new projects each day for an extensive array of skill sets. The platform is highly competitive, with millions of freelancers around the world bidding for the same jobs.

Proposals are critical when it comes to getting work on Upwork. The proposal is the first point of contact between the freelancer and a prospective client. The proposal should be crafted to grab the client's attention immediately.

After gaining experience and building a reputation with clients, freelancers will often get invited for interviews.

Many clients on Upwork strive to provide concise, accurate and complete descriptions while others do not provide many details concerning the work.

As a freelancer, the onus is on you to enquire about details from the client if you are really interested in applying for a certain job.

How to Craft a Winning Proposal

If you want to increase your chances of success on Upwork, you must craft a bespoke cover letter (proposal) for every client. Cookie-cutter proposals will sabotage your chances of landing a gig on Upwork.

Many freelancers contend that it is very time-consuming to create a bespoke proposal for each client. They opt to create a proposal template that they can easily copy and paste. In the long run, this strategy is a loser's strategy.

Critical Questions for the Freelancer

A freelancer has to take time and reflect on the following questions

  • Do I have the skills to complete the work?
  • Is the budget for the project enough for me?
  • Is the job description comprehensible, complete and correct?
  • Do I have time to complete the work?

Features of a Good Proposal

Crafting an Upwork proposal is a skill that should be honed. The structure is one of the most critical things to consider when creating an excellent proposal. The features of a good proposal include:

  • A brief salutation and introduction of the freelancer to the client.
  • A restatement of the client's problem.
  • A concise statement that outlines the freelancer's solution for the client's problem.
  • A brief statement explaining why the freelancer is the best candidate for the job.
  • A detailed but brief description of the method, processes or procedures the freelancer will employ to solve the client's problem.
  • Attachments of previous work or links to the freelancer's portfolio.

Ensure Your Proposal Is Concise and Effective

The proposal should not be too lengthy. The client might be busy and might not have time to read through a very lengthy proposal. The proposal should be concise and to the point.

Demonstrate a Clear Understanding of the Client’s Goals and Job Description

A freelancer should fully understand the needs of the client. Clients want to be assured that the freelancer understands their problem and can solve it competently. The freelancer should restate the problem of the client to show that they have read and understood the job description.

Provide Samples of Your Previous Work

A freelancer should have a neat portfolio of past work to show the clients. Clients prefer to hire freelancers that have done similar work in the past and have proof of the same.

A portfolio of work will enable the freelancer's proposal to stand out from the rest of the applicants.

6 Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating an Upwork Proposal

Here are six things you should avoid when crafting an Upwork proposal.

Many freelancers often resort to cookie-cutter proposal templates in order to save time. Remember that each job and each client is unique. You must craft a bespoke proposal for each client.

2. Making It About You

Freelancers should avoid talking too much about themselves. The proposal should be focused on the needs, goals and problems of the client and how the freelancer can help the client.

3. Using Unnecessary Fluff

The freelancer should avoid filler or fluff sentences in the proposal. The proposal should be concise and to the point.

4. Using Slang or Being Very Casual

A freelancer should be respectful and professional. The tone of your proposal should be professional. You should avoid using casual language or slang.

5. Sending Too Many Proposals

You should strive to send a maximum of two to three proposals in a day. Sending too many proposals on Upwork is equivalent to spamming.

Upwork changed its connect policy and requires users to buy new connects after they have exhausted the 10 free monthly connects. Formerly they used to provide 30 free monthly connects. Use your connects wisely.

6. Failing to Respond to Messages

Failure to respond to messages from clients is a pitfall every freelancer should avoid. Some clients will send invites to interviews and many freelancers often ignore or fail to check their messages.

This situation leads a freelancer to miss opportunities. Always check for messages from clients on Upwork regularly.

If you have enjoyed reading this article check out What I have Learned from Upwork.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Uriel Kushiel